Wilhelm Johanssen

Wilhelm Johanssen

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Wilhelm Ludwig Johanssen. Historical portrait of the Danish geneticist Wilhelm Ludwig Johanssen (1857-1927). Johanssen coined the word 'gene' for the unit of heredity. He began his career as a botanist in Germany. In 1905 he returned to his native Copenhagen to become Professor of Plant Physiology at the city's university. His work with beans bred over many generations led to his use of the word gene. He also distinguished the genetic concepts of genotype (genetic material) and phenotype (expression of the genotype in an environment). His 1909 book, Elements of Heredity, incorporated Mendel's ideas and was to be an influential genetics text for the next 20 years.

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Keywords: black-and-white, botanist, botany, dane, danish, geneticist, genetics, historical, history, johanssen, male, man, portraits, surname j, wilhelm ludwig

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